Anwar blames Umno, BN MPs for defeat of constitutional amendment bill

PKR president and Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim.

SEREMBAN: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has blamed Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs for the failure to obtain a two-thirds majority for the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Dewan Rakyat last night.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, said the government needed 148 votes for a two-thirds majority, but could only garner 138 votes after MPs from the opposition bloc abstained from voting on the bill.

“Umno and BN (MPs ) did not reject but did not vote. They just abstained with their own excuses.

“It’s all right, but we can all see the bill was very clear, that’s all,” he said at a Pakatan Harapan (PH) rally in conjunction with the Rantau state by-election here last night.

The bill, which was tabled and debated for nearly seven hours yesterday, was part of efforts by the government to amend the Federal Constitution to restore the original status of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the agreement for the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

It was tabled by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for second reading. However, it did not get through the block voting which resulted in 138 MPs supporting the amendment, none rejecting and 59 abstaining.

Anwar said the amendment to the Federal Constitution was among the promises made in PH’s manifesto for the 14th general election last year.

“I am satisfied, I stood up to support Mahathir’s motion for PH because we fulfilled our promise, and that promise is in line with the Federation of Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.